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May 9, 2017

Fernando Verdasco

Madrid, Spain

A. ZVEREV/F. Verdasco

7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish, please.

Q. You were a little bit uncomfortable today on the court. What were your feelings during that match?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, it's true that he was serving at a very high level for the whole match. It was very complicated, especially at the beginning of the match, to return his serves. After that, also if I managed to serve well, I didn't manage to cause him any trouble. It was not easy for me to play after he served.

My serve in the first set, I didn't serve well, especially during the breakpoints, especially the first two breakpoints. I didn't manage to make a first serve. With my second serve, he was playing it really well. It wasn't easy. I had a couple advantages. He broke. He managed to beat me. He won the first set.

In the second set, I served a little bit better. I think he was playing even better. He started to give me a lot of trouble from the baseline, even more than in the first set. If you add that to his great serve, it's very difficult to play him.

He was all the time serving at 215 kilometers per hour, second serve at 180 kilometers per hour. It's extremely difficult to return that serve in a decent way. It's very difficult to cause him trouble when he has that serve.

It's true, I didn't feel comfortable with the lights on the court. In many moments, I couldn't see the ball very well. I asked to turn on more lights because I couldn't see the court properly.

Well, it was a little bit complicated, of course. He's playing at a really high level. He's a very solid player, no matter where he plays. If you don't dominate the game, you don't dominate him, if he dominates you, like tonight, the normal thing is that you lose.

I tried to do everything that I could, everything in my hands to win the match. I tried to be aggressive, to take the initiative in the points whenever I could. Sometimes I couldn't do that because he has a really good forehand and backhand, really strong. It's not only his serve, he has a good forehand and backhand.

Here in Madrid it's very complicated, especially playing at night, because the ball bounces a little bit less. For players that play really flat, it's true that they play better in altitude.

He normally strikes the ball between the hip and the shoulders, so those kind of players play better. I wish I could have played during the day. I wanted to play during the day. Due to the media, television rights, so on, you have to adapt to the tournament. I had to play at night.

I think in the end that's what it is. In the end, I tried to do my best. I didn't manage to win the match today.

Q. Do you think not being able to make it to the tiebreaker in the first set was crucial?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Well, it's clear that would have changed the match a lot. If you make it to a tiebreaker in the first set, maybe we would have seen a different story tonight. The match would have been more open.

Perhaps in the tiebreak, with the crowd behind me, I would have been able to do something different.

It's true that he was serving really well. Maybe I could have gone for the match. In the moments where you feel the pressure more, I have the crowd behind me, it's clear that always helps.

It's true when we made it to the second set, he was a little bit more fluent. He was more adapted to the court. It was easier for him. He came from winning Munich. He didn't have a lot of time to adapt. But it's true in Munich he played in altitude.

Every single tournament is different. But it's clear in the second set he felt really comfortable. That's what I felt, at least. Apart from that, as I am saying, I wasn't able to make first serves very well. With my second serve, he was returning very hard. It was really difficult for me to take the initiative of the game.

I'm calm because I tried my best. I think he was better today. That's all I can say.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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